HEALTH

Immigration Tied To A Rise In Smoking Among Latinos, Asians

POMONA, CA - MARCH 06:   Smoke rises from an abalone shell containing burning copal that is traditionally used in Native American cleansing ceremonies and now is used by day laborers who continue their 3,000-mile, two-month run from Santa Monica, California to New York City to raise awareness of discrimination faced by immigrant day laborers and reportedly to call for citizenship for undocumented immigrants on March 6, 2006 in Pomona, California. The twelve runners are holding vigils, forums, news conferences and meetings with elected officials as they cross the nation on a route that includes a stop in Washington, D.C.  (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)

POMONA, CA - MARCH 06: Smoke rises from an abalone shell containing burning copal that is traditionally used in Native American cleansing ceremonies and now is used by day laborers who continue their 3,000-mile, two-month run from Santa Monica, California to New York City to raise awareness of discrimination faced by immigrant day laborers and reportedly to call for citizenship for undocumented immigrants on March 6, 2006 in Pomona, California. The twelve runners are holding vigils, forums, news conferences and meetings with elected officials as they cross the nation on a route that includes a stop in Washington, D.C. (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)  (2006 Getty Images)

The perennial immigrant search for a better life does not necessarily bring better health, according to a new study.

The study, titled "Gender, Acculturation and Smoking Behavior Among U.S. Asian and Latino Immigrants," found that the longer Asian and Latino immigrants were in the United States, the more frequently they smoked.

But there is good news for those who succeed in assimilating and learning English – they are linked to a reduction in smoking.

The authors of the study theorized that feeling comfortable with the adopted culture and mastering the language leads to better opportunities, more financial comfort and, by extension, less stress.

“Immigrants who form strong connections to the U.S. through English-language proficiency and citizenship acquisition benefit in terms of reduced smoking,” said Bridget Gorman, chair and professor of sociology at Rice and the study's lead author, according to a summary of the report.

“This may be because the stresses associated with adapting to the U.S. have declined,” the summary said, “but since both English-language proficiency and citizenship are associated with higher socio-economic standing, this might also indicate that smoking is lower among the most economically well-off migrants.”

The study showed that Latino immigrant men smoke more than twice the rate of Latinas – about 30 percent compared to about 13 percent. The same was true of Asian immigrants, though the disparity was wider at 30 percent compared to 7 percent.

Women tended to smoke more upon migrating, the study found. The researchers believe that despite the obvious health risk, women took part in smoking more once in the United States, where gender behavorial norms are not as delineated as those in their native countries.

“The smoking stigma for women is significantly less in the U.S.,” the authors wrote.

The study looked at a sample of 3,249 Asian and Latino migrant adults aged 18 and older.

Among other findings in the study was differences within Asian and Latino groups. Men from China, for instance, were less likely to smoke than other Asian men, while Cuban men smoked more frequently than Mexican men. 

The perennial immigrant search for a better life does not necessarily bring better health, according to a new study.

The study, titled "Gender, Acculturation and Smoking Behavior Among U.S. Asian and Latino Immigrants," found that the longer Asian and Latino immigrants were in the United States, the more frequently they smoked.

But there is good news for those who succeed in assimilating and learning English – they are linked to a reduction in smoking.

The authors of the study theorized that feeling comfortable with the adopted culture and mastering the language leads to better opportunities, more financial comfort and, by extension, less stress.

“Immigrants who form strong connections to the U.S. through English-language proficiency and citizenship acquisition benefit in terms of reduced smoking,” said Bridget Gorman, chair and professor of sociology at Rice and the study's lead author, according to a summary of the report.

“This may be because the stresses associated with adapting to the U.S. have declined,” the summary said, “but since both English-language proficiency and citizenship are associated with higher socio-economic standing, this might also indicate that smoking is lower among the most economically well-off migrants.”

The study showed that Latino immigrant men smoke more than twice the rate of Latinas – about 30 percent compared to about 13 percent. The same was true of Asian immigrants, though the disparity was wider at 30 percent compared to 7 percent.

Women tended to smoke more upon migrating, the study found. The researchers believe that despite the obvious health risk, women took part in smoking more once in the United States, where gender behavorial norms are not as delineated as those in their native countries.

“The smoking stigma for women is significantly less in the U.S.,” the authors wrote.

The study looked at a sample of 3,249 Asian and Latino migrant adults aged 18 and older.

Among other findings in the study was differences within Asian and Latino groups. Men from China, for instance, were less likely to smoke than other Asian men, while Cuban men smoked more frequently than Mexican men. 

Follow us on twitter.com/foxnewslatino
Like us at facebook.com/foxnewslatino